Satellite TV Systems – Reviewing The Advantages Over Cable

Satellite TV systems have become incredibly popular in both the United States and worldwide.  In the United States alone, DIRECTV claims over 17 million subscribers, and Dish Network has over 13 million, meaning there are now over 30 million homes receiving satellite TV just in America.

So why the popularity of satellite TV, including the DVR devices that come as part of the package?  There are many reasons of course, but here are a few reasons why satellite television systems have become so popular both here in the United States and across the world.

Satellite TV became both affordable and practical in the late 1990’s.   Prior to this time, a satellite TV setup was bulky and expensive.   Today, Dish Network and DIRECTV offer equipment that is both sleek and compact, with the size of the average satellite dish being between 18 to 24 inches across.  This of course is a huge improvement over the original satellite TV systems, which often had a dish that was 6 to 8 feet wide.

Satellite television has also become extremely popular internationally.   It is much easier for many people to buy a satellite television system rather than wait on the infrastructure development needed for cable TV.   Satellite TV growth has been explosive in countries like India.

Overall, the setup required to deliver high quality reception to your home is fairly complex when you consider everything it takes for the signal to reach your television set.   But for our discussion, we will consider the components most people think of when considering the setup of a satellite TV system, the satellite dish and the receiver.

The satellite dish is what gets things started for the subscriber when setting up their satellite TV system.  In the United States, the small satellite dish units that are mounted on the home must face south.   DIRECTV and DISH Network satellites orbit at an altitude of approximately 22,000 miles, and thus are able to transmit signals across the entire United States.

The next step for the Dish Network or DIRECTV subscriber in the satellite delivery channel is the receiver.  In the past, satellite TV receivers were basic black boxes that simply interfaced with the television set in order to decode the signal.  These days though the receiver often is also a highly advanced piece of technology, doubling as a DVR or HD DVR.   Because these HD DVR boxes raise the overall price of the satellite TV system, the subscriber may have to shoulder some of the equipment cost.

There are Dish Network and DIRECTV deals out there that usually offer one HD DVR at no charge to the customer, as long as they are commiting to a satellite TV subscription for two years.  If you want additional DVR units, you will usually have to pay additional upfront charges.  Usually satellite TV systems will include additional basic receivers at no extra charge, though there is a $5-6 fee per month for the service on each receiver, similar to a cable box fee.

Overall, what most consumers like is the fact that they can get into a brand new satellite system at no charge.  The cost for the initial setup is absorbed by DIRECTVor Dish Network, and they plan on making back their investment as the subscriber pays for content over a period of months or years.


  1. What I really like with Direct TV is the HD DVR they offer. Didn’t cost a thing. Yeah I know, have to have a two year contract. At least the service fee for it is affordable, I was paying comcast $16 a month for DVR service!

  2. Interesting to see how many people have hooked up satellite TV systems. I guess a lower price and free dishes and receivers makes it an easy choice. Now if I could just decide whether to go with dish or direct tv!

  3. yah these are very popular now a days. And these systems having so many facilities. Nice blog thank you for sharing it..

  4. I like the Directv system better than my old Dish TV system. Everyone seems to rave about the Dish Network DVR, but in my experience the DIRECTV DVR works so much better. Maybe I just had a bad Dish unit, but with direct TV, I never have any skip or fast forwarding problems on their DVR

  5. Can you get DIRECTV russian channels all on one satellite dish? I asked them and they didnt know, they said they have to send the installer first to see if I have to have two satellite dishes on my house.

  6. Nice article. The best thing about satellite TV systems today is that they have DVR as part of the package. My wife is in love with our satellite TV dvr, she talks about it all the time. This from a woman who is a technological idiot..

  7. What I experienced with a new Direct TV satellite system is that they really wanted to rip me off for additional HD DVR units. I think they wanted something like $200 each, and monthly fees on top of that for service. If you have more than one HDTV, cable and satellite TV companies are going to do their best to rip you off…

  8. What about free satellite TV? I keep hearing that I can get satellite TV for free. Can someone point me to a resource about this?

  9. What I dont like is that they consider the receivers to be leased. even if you have service for years with them the DVR and HD DVR boxes have to be returned once you stop service with them or they charge you hundreds of dollars

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